With passage of UN Resolution 2334 by the United Nations Security Council on Dec. 23, 2016, a dramatic shift is beginning to occur in global politics. With this action, which condemns Israel for the settlements they’ve created in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and in east Jerusalem, the world is entering into an even more dangerous period. We are coming upon a time in which all nations will eventually turn against Israel, not just politically but violently and militarily, as well. Unknown to most people who are concerned about Middle East peace, and this includes the politicians and diplomats involved with passing this resolution, these events are powerful harbingers of what the Bible predicts will happen in the Last Days before Christ returns.
President Obama, in a calculated action against the Jewish state that was done in the waning days of his administration, accelerated his anti-Israel campaign by instructing the US to abstain in the Security Council’s vote to condemn the Jewish state on settlements. In similar past UN resolutions, the US executed its veto power and prevented such measures from passing. Obama, however, has been blatantly anti-Israel from the time he entered office, and he took this opportunity to further mess up the Middle East before he leaves office on January 20, 2017. Obama’s legacy of failed foreign policies, especially of creating chaos everywhere throughout the Middle East region, is now sealed by this act of sabotage.
Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, accused Obama of “waging war on Israel”. He also said that the US abstention in the Security Council’s vote amounted to “taking steps to isolate and then kill a democracy and an ally”. Gingrich called upon President-elect Trump to “prepare a comprehensive offensive…to undo the damage to Israel the Obama team is inflicting”.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, was incensed by these events and called Obama’s actions on the UN resolution an “ambush”. During the week before the vote, Netanyahu had asked President-Elect Trump to intervene on Israel’s behalf. As a result, Trump then called upon the United States’ UN Ambassador Samantha Power to veto the measure when it came up before the Security Council. He also reached out to Egypt to withdraw the UN resolution, which Egypt subsequently did. However, the UN resolution was quickly reinstated by several other countries, all of which appeared to be coerced by the Obama administration. When the final vote occurred and the US Ambassador abstained instead of issuing a veto, it allowed the resolution to pass unanimously by the other 14 Security Council members. Trump subsequently tweeted and said that it was a “big loss” and that it would now be “much harder to negotiate peace” in the region.
Netanyahu strongly alleged that there was behind the scenes US support of the UN resolution and said, “We have no doubt that the Obama Administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated the texts, and made sure it passed.”
Further adding fuel to the fire, the US Secretary of State John Kerry gave a long rambling speech on Wednesday, December 28, in which he scolded Israel for building settlements and saying that they were an impediment to peace. However, what Kerry failed to mention was that the Palestinians had rejected several previous land-for-peace deals since the mid-1990s. In one of them done during the Clinton years, Israel would have relinquished almost 100% of the West Bank lands to a Palestinian state.
The Palestinians’ real goal has never been peaceful coexistence, but the complete annihilation of Israel from the face of the Earth. Instead of accepting statehood, which they were offered by Israel and the US, the Palestinians rejected it and chose violent uprisings (Intifadas), which cost the lives of many thousands of people and further terrorized Israelis.
Responding to Kerry, Netanyahu claimed that the resolution was entirely written and pushed forward by the Obama administration, and that it was Obama that pushed to resubmit the UN resolution after Egypt had withdrawn it. Netanyahu said that he would provide evidence to this effect to the incoming Trump administration after January 20.
The UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May also vigorously criticized Obama and Kerry. She called their treatment of Israel an “obstacle” to peace. May said, “We do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically-elected government of an ally”.
The Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also slammed Kerry’s speech, calling it “deeply unsettling”. He said, “Australia stands with Israel. We support Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East”. Turnbull continued and said, “Above all, we stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel in the fight against terrorists.”
Predicted in the Bible
Although these events may appear to be only more of the same ongoing political chaos we have witnessed for many years involving the Middle East, there is actually more to these troublous events than meets the eye. The Lord has a plan for Israel that can only be seen through a series of amazing prophecies in the Bible related to the Last Days. These unique predictions can tell us exactly what is really happening behind the stories in the news, and where the world is heading over the next several years as we move forward toward the end. These prophecies can also let us know why this UN resolution and any peace initiatives are ultimately doomed to fail. To find out more, we need to turn to the prophets of the Old Testament.
The prophet Joel predicted that there would come a time at the end of this age when God would restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem. Even though the Jews had been scattered among the nations for many generations, the Lord predicted in Joel that they would come back to their land and be reborn as a nation. In Joel chapter 3, the Lord is quoted by Joel as saying,
“For behold, in those days and at that time, When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land.”
The Lord says in this prophecy that within the same general time period that he brings the people of Israel back to their land, he will also judge all the nations by gathering them into a vast valley in the region of Galilee, north of Judea and Samaria. The armies will be gathered into the Great Plain of Esdraelon (also called the Jezreel Valley or the Valley of Jehoshaphat in the Old Testament). To the west and south of this valley runs the Mt. Carmel mountain range, and on the northern edge of these mountains sits the ancient city of Megiddo. In the Last Days, these mountains will effectively trap the remaining armies of the world within the large valley below. In the New Testament in chapter 16 of the Book of Revelation, this valley is called Armageddon from Har Megiddo, which means the mount of Megiddo.
In ancient times, access to this valley from the northeast was the easiest point of entry for armies to attack Israel. They would pass just north of the Sea of Galilee to avoid crossing the Jordan River. If armies tried to enter Israel south of the Sea of Galilee, the cliffs on either side of the Jordan made passage very difficult. This would be true even for moving modern armies into Israel, although now there are some highways from the east that lead towards Israel at many points.
The prophets predict that in the End Times this northern point of entry will be the main route for the armies of the world as they attack Israel to fight the final battle. Revelation says that the armies will be gathered by demons into the Valley of Armageddon, and it will be this place where the Lord will assemble all the remaining nations just before Jesus returns (Rev. 16:12-16). Hundreds of millions of fighters will move into this valley at the very end of the age.
Why does the Lord say He will judge the nations there? According to the prophecies in Joel, He will judge them because the nations had divided His land and scattered His people throughout the world.
In the beginning, the Lord gave the Jews exclusive rights to the land of Israel—not the Palestinians or anyone else. This means that the Jews have a God-given title to the land that actually extends beyond any borders that may be accepted in any UN resolutions or partition agreements. Whether Obama or any other leader agrees to this premise or not, it doesn’t change the fact that the land of Israel belongs solely to the Jews.
The Bible also predicts that the time leading up to the final wars will be a time of great distress. The prophet Zechariah quoted the Lord as saying,
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”
Zechariah predicted that Judah and Jerusalem would be the focal point for great fear and hatred in the last days. The Lord will make Jerusalem itself a “cup of trembling” for all the world. The tension between the Jews and Arabs will reach a boiling point wherein every nation will be terrified of what might result from it. Even now this tension is growing as the United Nations condemns Israel for settlements in Judea and Jerusalem (Judah and Jerusalem in the prophecy).
Eventually, however, whatever UN resolution is enacted or whatever diplomacy is tried, it will all fail and the tensions will lead to a massive war in in the Middle East. This battle is predicted to start by an attack upon Israel by their old enemies, Syria and Egypt, as predicted by the prophet Daniel (Dan. 11:40). This initial war will quickly spiral out of control as other nations enter the battle and a terrifying global war ensues. In particular, the battle of Gog and Magog as predicted by the prophet Ezekiel foretells the attack of Russia and her allies upon the state of Israel (Ezek. 38-39). These events are the just beginning phases of the Great Tribulation, which will lead to the destruction of the entire world through a nuclear holocaust. The predictions of world war and global destruction within the Bible are the reason why Jerusalem is today becoming a cup of trembling for all people.
There was even a rumor early in 2017 that the UN and the Palestinians were plotting to declare a separate Palestine state just before Obama left office. Some had said that Obama himself wanted to make this declaration within the last two weeks of his administration before President Trump was inaugurated.
This didn’t happen, but the UN still desires to give the Palestinians their own state within the nation of Israel by once again dividing the land, even though Joel clearly warns against it. The Jews wouldn’t recognize any unilateral declaration by the UN, but it would significantly increase tensions in an already tense region.
Some are calling upon the Israeli government to preempt any such move to divide the nation by annexing the West Bank and East Jerusalem ahead of any possible declaration of Palestinian statehood. In fact, in a poll taken early in 2016, it was concluded that over half of all Israelis support annexation. This comes at a time when the religious groups in Israel are also advocating the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple on the highly disputed Temple Mount area in Jerusalem. Can you imagine the fever pitch of tensions that would be reached in the Middle East if these events were to take place this year?
To learn more about the prophecies of the final wars, the attack of Russia upon Israel, and the Battle of Armageddon, see the sections on World War III.